Electron Configurations POGIL - Elizabeth Williams

Electron Configurations POGIL - Elizabeth Williams -...

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The 2s Orbital The 1s Orbital Electron Configuration POGIL TEKS 6Ei. Introduction The world of the atom is a very strange world. It is quite unlike the world we are used to. The usual relatively simple laws of physics do not apply. Instead the world of the atom is one dominated by waves and probability. The speed and even the location of objects in this world are subject to uncertainty. MODEL 1: Electron Orbitals Werner Heisenberg, one of the founders of Quantum Mechanics, was the first to describe this uncertainty mathematically. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that it is impossible to know with high levels of certainty both the location and the velocity of an electron. The better you know where an electron is the worse your knowledge of where it is going. The practical meaning of this is that the common picture given of atoms that looks like a solar system is not just a little inaccurate. It is dead wrong. Diagrams such as the one at right are useful for counting electrons and illustrating different energy levels. But they are worthless as picture of what atoms really look like. The solar system model of the atom uses orbits to show where the electrons are. Electrons do not really orbit the nucleus. They do live in regions of space called orbitals. Orbitals are organized by the energy level or shell that they belong to. Orbitals are clouds of probability. That is, an orbital is the shape of the region in space where an electron is most likely to be found. At left you see what is called the 1s orbital. This ball-shaped orbital is gives a better idea of what a hydrogen atom actually looks like. The dots in the picture represent possible positions of the one electron the hydrogen has. The nucleus (too small to see) is in the center of the picture. Notice that there are more dots near the center of the sphere than near the edges. This shows that the electron is most likely to be near the nucleus. But that does not mean it is impossible to find the electron very far away from the nucleus. There is an infinitesimal probability (less than the probability of winning the lottery) that the electron in a hydrogen atom will be on the Moon. It might help to think of it this way. Picture a bird feeder on a pole in someone’s backyard. A huge flock of small birds has just descended into the yard on its way to a summer habitat in Canada. If you take a picture of the yard at different moments in time the birds are most likely to be found as close to the birdfeeder as they can get. The shape of the region of space around the feeder where a bird is most likely to be found will be roughtly spherical, just like the 1s orbital of an atom. Each bird represent the location where an electron might be at any given time.
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